Mobile point-of-sale (MPoS) devices, such as those offered by Square or iZettle, are set to account for 46 per cent of all cash registers globally by 2019, according to ABI Research.
And they will not just be popular with small traders as is the case today, predicts the study.
MPoS devices, which involve plugging a card reader into a smartphone or tablet, will increase fivefold to 51 million by 2019, said ABI.
Even midsized and large retailers are now looking at MPoS for a number of reasons, including the ability to process payments away from traditional checkout queues.
Despite the encouragement in the survey, ABI raises the question of whether MPoS is viable as a standalone business because of its relatively low margins. Square, for instance, has been trying for some time to diversify its business.
Despite unpromising margins and low entry barriers, investors are still eager to back MPoS players such as iZettle. ABI explains that MPoS can be a way into other, more profitable, e-commerce services.
Senior analyst Phil Sealy said OTT players could come into the payments market using MPoS as an entrance point.
“There has been much said about the cannibalisation of the traditional PoS market, but ABI Research believes that both traditional PoS and mPoS can grow together in tandem, co-existing, expanding the presence of digital payment acceptance.”
Traditional PoS solutions will still be attractive for large, fixed-lane checkouts but merchants will also look at mobile solutions too for added value.